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Pajarico (1997)

Manu, who just turned ten, makes his first trip to Murcia to spend some time with his father's family. Surrounded by orchards, sea, nature and a cheerful and warm family, he will find his first love and the first signs of his adult life.

Director:

Carlos Saura

Writer:

Carlos Saura
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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Alejandro Martínez Alejandro Martínez ... Manu (as Alejandro Martinez)
Dafne Fernández ... Fuensanta (as Dafne Fernandez)
Francisco Rabal ... El Abuelo
Manuel Bandera ... Tío Juan
Eusebio Lázaro Eusebio Lázaro ... Tío Fernando (as Eusebio Lazaro)
Juan Luis Galiardo ... Tío Emilio
María Luisa San José María Luisa San José ... Tía Beatriz (as Mª Luisa San Jose)
Violeta Cela Violeta Cela ... Tía Lola
Eulàlia Ramon ... Tía Margarita (as Eulalia Ramon)
Paulina Gálvez ... Tía Marisa
Eva Marciel ... Loli
Israel Rodríguez ... Emilín (as Israel Rodriguez)
Rebeca Fernández Rebeca Fernández ... Amalia (as Rebeca Fernandez)
Andrea Granero Andrea Granero ... Sofía
Iker Ortiz de Zárate Iker Ortiz de Zárate ... Novio Loli - Jaime (as Iker Ibañez)
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Storyline

10-year-old Manu from Madrid arrives in Murcia in southern Spain surrounded by a lush landscape by the sea. He is sent by his parents who are trying to sort out a marital separation. The plan is that he will spend three weeks with his father's family on a rotating basis. The eccentric collection of family members includes a sharp-as-nails grandfather, uncle Juan, a heartsick watercolor painter and poet, uncle Fernando, a bisexual whose lover has just ended their affair to marry a woman, and young cousin Fuensanta who gives him his first taste of puppy love. Written by lament

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Spain

Language:

Spanish | Catalan | Gallegan | Basque

Release Date:

6 February 1998 (Spain) See more »

Also Known As:

Little Bird See more »

Filming Locations:

Abarán, Murcia, Spain See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Connections

Referenced in Lágrimas negras (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Mano Negra
By Mano Negra and Manu Chao (as M. Chao)
Performed by Mano Negra
Courtesy of Casa Babylon
See more »

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User Reviews

Curious departure from the usual Saura, retrospectively almost a fitting tribute
19 October 2001 | by khatcher-2See all my reviews

Another of those films in which young people - more or less ten year olds Alejandro Martínez and Dafne Fernández - begin to discern the world they live in with an awakening consciousness.

In this case 'Manu' is sent to a house full of relatives in Murcia, eastern Spain, while his parents work out a divorce. The house is peopled by some rather strange types, such as Tío Juan, who fantasises in being a painter, Tío Fernando, who is a cake-maker, plays the cello and is homosexual, and Tío Emilio, who has a biology laboratory deep down in the bowels of the building. If we add the elder cousin is dating a yonqui and that El Abuelo is three-quarters senile, recites poetry and disappears in his pyjamas, one readily fathoms some rather weird storytelling.

Saura manages it well, precisely because his story and directing keep everything skillfully in perspective, as well as the fact that he keeps the two children right in the middle of the angle and focussing of both the story itself and of course the filming. His choice of children is superb: both Alejandro as 'Manu' and Dafne as Fuensanta (literally `holy fountain'), hold your attention, above all for their ingenuously natural performances. Dafné Fernández one year later was under Saura's orders as Rosario, Goya's granddaughter, in what was to be somewhat fatefully titled for Paco Rabal `Goya in Bordeaux' - the city in which our grand old actor finally died.

I regret somewhat the too brief appearance by Rafael Ramírez; perhaps because I loved his performance in the TV series `Juncal' in which he worked so well with Rabal, the best `truhan' that Spanish films have ever produced.

This film is almost like a tribute to Paco Rabal, who was born in Murcia, a splendid, beautiful province of Spain, from its inland highlands sweeping down to the sparkling Mediterranean. His performance is quite good - for what there was of it: he doesn't appear until we are an hour into the film.

<From the gardens of Murcia, I bring you a flower..> he recites, while his mind bends and twists through barely-remembered, mostly forgotten vague shadows. He calmly continues eating his soup, despite the fact that Tío Emilio has swept everything away in a fit of rage.

Massó's music seems to limit itself to paying tribute to, or simply plagiarising, Joaquín Rodrigo, Fernando Sor and Tárrega, and the fragments of cello were indeed partitures by Bach.

There are certain other symbolisms present - such as when the Murcia Cathedral solemnly strikes five o'clock in the afternoon, and fragments of Alberdi's famous poem come to mind. This is absolutely in keeping with the intimist angle taken up by Saura for this little story, rather than the surrealism to which we are more accustomed from this Aragonese director.

<How beautiful is life, how beautiful is the sea; how well one is when one is well> muses the old grandfather on the beach.

Yes, but poor little 'Manu' would have preferred to stay with Fuensanta the rest of his life....


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